Award-Winning Documentary “Ocean Of Obstacles” Chronicles the Journey of 12 Blind Teenagers from Phoenix Who Set Sail Across the Spanish Virgin Islands Releases April 13
By Lisa Padilla -
Monday Apr 12, 2021
In 2018, twelve blind teenagers who grew up in the desert heat, void of an ocean, defied all odds and learned how to sail at a local lake. The dozen, known as the Blind Buccaneers, later journeyed hundreds of miles across the sea without the use of eyesight to guide them. In a moving tale about perseverance, courage and grit, the award-winning documentary “Ocean of Obstacles,” is set to be released on digital and cable VOD by Gravitas Ventures, a Red Arrow Studios Company, on April 13, 2021.
The film was the brainchild of Phoenix-based director, Louie Duran, who first discovered the Foundation for Blind Children and their challenge events in 2015. He began documenting these stories several years later at Lake Pleasant Harbor. The challenge events are part of an on-going effort by the Foundation to inspire visually-impaired individuals to achieve more in life.
Duran said, "I witnessed the strength and hope these kids possess shine full from challenging themselves. When given the opportunity to show the world this life-changing experience, I jumped at the chance! Every one of these kids had to overcome fear and doubt to reach their goals, and they all became my heroes."
Marc Ashton, CEO of the Foundation and creator of the challenge events said, “Whether it’s to the top of Mount Kilimanjaro, the bottom of the Grand Canyon, or across the ocean, our kids rise to the challenge.”
The documentary was recently awarded: “Winner of Best True Story,” “Winner of Special Innovation Award for Creative Storytelling,” and “Most Inspirational Film” at the Las Vegas and Orlando Film Festivals.
"This adventure has been a challenge for everyone who got to be a part of it in some way,” says executive producer, Loudin Dennis Krueg. “What you will feel watching these young adults in this call to contest with the open water changes how you approach everything down the road. I know it has for me, and I will never be the same because of what I have seen firsthand at sea."
One of the young blind castmates, Kaylee Nielsen said, “I think what I was left with was memories of the incredible experience we had, and just personally a new sense of confidence, a sense of adventure and a sense of, ‘Hey they're doing it, I can do that too!’
Nationally recognized Phoenix Brophy Prep running back Adonis Watt is also featured in the film triumphantly sailing across the Caribbean Sea. In an interview regarding the trip, the sports star who began losing his eyesight at five-years old due to congenital glaucoma humbly said, “It’s just another adventure to go on.”
The documentary “Ocean of Obstacles” will be officially released on April 13, 2021. Presale orders may be placed soon on I-tunes
Feral Llama Entertainment LLC. has been providing unique commercial and personal media coverage in Arizona since 2018 starting with Ocean of Obstacles.
An entrepreneur in media business, Loudin Krueg uses his experience as the company's founder to establish his core concept of how he approaches entertainment production: treat your employees right, do your best work, and operate with transparency and honesty by doing the right thing. Feral Llama Entertainment produces content with a blue-collar outlook, if it's hard work it's worth it, do it right so you don't have to do it twice, if you can't afford it learn to do it yourself, and inspire others by example. Combining these elements with a can-do outlook of creative minds opens up the possibility that anything can be done with teamwork and ambition. For more information, call 480-645-3562 or email [email protected]
About Gravitas Ventures
Gravitas Ventures, a Red Arrow Studios company, is a leading all rights distributor of independent feature films and documentaries. Founded in 2006, Gravitas connects independent filmmakers and producers with distribution opportunities across the globe. Working with talented directors and producers, Gravitas Ventures has distributed thousands of films into over a hundred million homes in North America - over one billion homes worldwide. Recent releases include Our Friend directed by Gabriela Cowperthwaite, starring Casey Affleck, Dakota Johnson, and Jason Segel, Vanguard, directed by Stanley Tong and starring Jackie Chan, The Secret: Dare to Dream, directed by Andy Tennant and starring Katie Holmes; End of Sentence starring Logan Lerman and John Hawkes; Looks that Kill; Tread; Loopers: The Caddie’s Long Walk, narrated by Bill Murray; and Colin Hanks’ All Things Must Pass. For more information, please visit gravitasventures.com, and follow @GravitasVOD on Twitter and @gravitasventures on Instagram.
About Red Arrow Studios
Red Arrow Studios is one of the world’s leading creators and distributors of entertainment content, comprising an acclaimed network of international production companies and labels in seven territories; world-leading digital studio, Studio71, based in six countries; and global film and TV distributors Red Arrow Studios International and Gravitas Ventures. The group’s significant output includes scripted, non-scripted and formatted content and IP, from TV and film to short-form and branded content, made for an array of global networks and platforms. Red Arrow Studios is part of ProSiebenSat.1 Media SE, one of Europe's leading media groups. Redarrowstudios.com
About the Foundation for Blind Children:
Through education, tools and services, the Foundation for Blind Children creates opportunity for anyone with vision loss to achieve greater independence. FBC serves the blind and visually impaired of all ages, from birth to currently 104 years old. With three Valley locations (East, West and Central Phoenix), we strive to be "the" community resource for blind, visually impaired, and multi-handicapped children, adults, and their families. We believe that vision loss is a diagnosis, not a disability.
About Director Louie Duran
Louie Duran began documenting the works at the Foundation for Blind Children in the summer of 2015. Capturing the incredible stories of visually impaired children and their families. His involvement within the Arizona blind communities has helped raise awareness and funds to support visually impaired students. In 2018, Louie began the journey of capturing the voyage of the Blind Buccaneers and is now ready for the world to witness their strength.